A captivating tale where fantasy and reality meet as the hearts of four strangers are thrown into circumstances, not of their own making.
Bea lives a simple life working in a South London second-hand bookshop. It had been an especially difficult year, first with her uncle dying, then splitting up with Brandon, her philandering boyfriend. The shop's trivial daily conversations, local faces, and calm were all that she desired, but that was all about to change.
No-one expects to bump into supernatural beings, let alone two opposing sects of a forgotten race. Her quiet existence quickly turns into turmoil as she unravels a secret past. A lost history in which love, revenge, betrayal, magic, and karma are not mere cycles of a soul, but a sacred journey of a much bigger picture.
The future is not set in stone and the choices that Bea makes ripple through the cosmos. As the secret unfolds she realises that no matter what form your soul takes there are consequences for all actions in which time has no relevance – we call it karma, they call it Vo-ror-bla.
What would you do if your core beliefs of existence came into question?
Tracey-anne lives in London with her family. She loves the diversity of her work as a mixed media artist and writer.
Certified to teach, her world is filled with various forms of creativity. Tracey-anne has exhibited art dolls in a Canadian gallery and has been published in various US magazines.
With her active imagination, mingled with a love of folklore and the old mysteries, she felt inspired to write a fictional story revolving around love and karma blending reality with fantasy. Her novel 'A Carpet of Purple Flowers' is the synchronicity of a writer's mind with an artistic heart.
A Carpet of Purple Flowers, by Tracey-anne McCartney, just didn’t do it for me. It has to happen sometimes. No book is going to appeal to every reader, and no reader is going to enjoy every book. This is going to be a negative review. If I am not honest then I see little point in writing my thoughts down.
The protagonist is a young woman named Bea who owns and runs a second hand bookshop in South London. She lives in the small flat above the premises and is single, having split up with her boyfriend six months previously. She still harbours feelings for her ex but does not regret that they are no longer together. He is a petty criminal, into drink and drugs having suffered an abusive childhood. We are given this back story, and he makes occasional appearances throughout the book, but his part is of little significance so I am unsure why such details are offered.
Bea meets the handsome and enigmatic Karian. We learn that she should not have been able to see him, that he is not of this world. She is drawn to him but, before they can get to know each other, he disappears.
Bea then encounters a young man named Chance who, again, she should not have been able to see. Bea learns that Karian and Chance are from the same realm but that they are on opposing sides in a simmering war. They seem surprised to discover Bea’s connection to their world, yet later in the story this is offered as explanation as to why many of their associates have been assigned to live alongside humans.
Bea ends up getting romantically involved with both Karian and Chance, who is actually called Anathon. He is the only alien who feels the need to hide his true name. Bea also gets to know a few of their associates who, for no reason that is explained, she could not initially see as she could the men.
There is much talk of love before the characters have had a chance to get to know each other. Their romances are largely physical. Attempts at dates often end in hurt and confusion; questions go unanswered and are not asked again. Bea’s friendship with one of the female aliens inexplicably survives despite their repeated manipulations.
The various sexual encounters are described in graphic detail. There is one scene which is presented as a cosmic journey yet is little more than drawn out foreplay with a talented lover. I do not enjoy reading explicit sex scenes so will comment no further on this aspect of the book. I am aware that plenty of readers enjoy such writing.
The men are vociferous in their desire to protect Bea. What they really want is to possess her. Bea is naive in her musings on love, expecting it to be free of pain. There are a great many emotionally intense scenes which became repetitive and thus left me feeling ambivalent. Suggestions are made which are not progressed.
Although many of the ideas were of interest I found the structure clunky. Characters were introduced, lengthy dialogue offered explanations of the other world’s history, but important back stories remained incomplete. When one of the characters mentioned knowing Bea’s mother, who had left her in the care of an uncle as a child, Bea showed little interest in finding out more about her own heritage. A man is brought in to talk to her near the end of the book, the suggestion being that he is significant to Bea; he then leaves without explaining how.
There were also several incidents that felt wrong to me. Early on Karian invites Bea to the theatre. They buy popcorn, something that I have never seen available in any theatre I have visited. They watch a play, which is actually a ballet, except the actors/ dancers laugh and talk. I have never encountered a ballet with dialogue.
The denouement requires that Bea make a difficult choice. Given all that had gone before I wondered at its implied permanence. Perhaps the author plans a sequel.
My overall opinion is that the author had a fine idea for a story but, perhaps, needed a tighter edit. There were several members of the cast whose role did not warrant the space they occupied. Even Bea’s best friend had become irrelevant by the end.
When I consider the work that any author puts into creating a novel I feel guilty for pulling it apart. As I have said, this book did not work for me. Other reviewers have reacted much more positively.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Urbane Publications.
I was lucky enough to read this book before it was published and I was immediately blown away by the depth of the story. More than anything, writer Tracey-Anne McCartney knows how to do characters. They just leap to life from the page - they are the kind you find yourself wishing they were real. The story itself twists and turns so many times it leaves you a little breathless. But of course, my favorite part, above all was the writing itself. The beautiful descriptions of the scenery just put you right in the story. It really comes to life, more so than any book I've read in a long time. Ever since I read it, I've been on the edge of my seat waiting for the sequel. I knew from the start that this would be a book that would go places...first publication, but now I wouldn't be afraid to bet on a film adaption sometime in the future!
I devoured this book five years ago but I barely enjoyed it reading it again. I might sound cynical when I say this but insta-love is really annoying. How can you fall in love with two different people barely days after meeting them? The characters were so one-dimensional and yet the protagonist is the subject of the affections of three different men. Plus there was quite a lot of words that were used without being explained. I kept reading hoping for some enlightenment but gave up at some point. There was a stretch of chapters full of repetitive pining which is where I stopped reading, at about halfway through.
All in all, this just was not my cup of tea after having read much better fantasy and much better romance.
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers.
I was give this book as a beta reader, and loved it from the first chapter. I loves that the story was written with the London slang and written as spoken, not many do that. This book has travelled with me all over, I can't even describe it. It's like you get pulled into a world and can't leave, you get to thinking 'I wonder if it's really real', as we are so engrossed in the story we can't tell from fantasy and reality, this book is fabulous, intriguing and keeps you engrossed. 5stars for me ✳️✳️✳️✳️✳️
Arghhhhh this book is so awesome, I am speechless after finishing this amazing story.
It's unbelievable how perfectly this book is written.
It has twists and unexpected turns, things that you could never have imagined at all.
I'm blown way because of the nature of the story. Never have I ever read something like A Carpet of Purple Flowers. I am truly in love with the way this author managed to develop the main idea of the story, that is, the existence of two realms and a wandering soul. An of course lots of romance! I love how each character is unique and all of them are a little complex.
The main characters, Bea, Chance and Karian, are so developed, complex in a new way, with a story and baggage each.
Bea is strong, independant, smart and funny. She is kind and gentle, she is one of a kind. But she also has her past, things didn't end well between her and Brandon. And suddenly after a routinary life she finds herself, caught in the middle of a war. A war between two kingdoms, the Seelies and the Unseelies, both from the same race but opposing sects. And the worst part is that Bea doesn't know any of this, nor the reasons or why is she, in a way, the main reason of the war. But as time passes in the story, we get to join her in a journey of discovering who she is, and why is she so important for both The Seelies and The Unseelies. And as the story goes, she finds herself in not so graceful situations, but at the same time, she lives moments of true happiness, that will stay with her and with you as a reader forever. It's so awesome to see how Bea faces all the problems that are thrown her way, as all humans she crumbles and fall, but she stand up again and fights. She keeps trying to make what's good for her but at the same time what's good to the others, so they don't get hurt either. She is a remarkable character, in all ways.
Now about Chance, oh Chance, he makes his appearance as a secondary character but climbs his way up to a main character so fast and in an excellent way, slowly he won my heart, as also Bea's love. He is a Seelie warrior, and he is on a mission on Earth, a mission to protect Bea from the Unseelie. It all starts when he enters Bea's library store with Kitty, but what they don't know is that somehow Bea can see one of them. And somehow they have an instant connection. After that moment they start seeing each other and knowing each other, until they fall in love. And this is the thing, their love is pure and innocent, and so incredible. But it's not all happiness, cause Bea doesn't know Chance's true nature, and she's about to discover all the secrets that everybody's keeping from her. But Chance *swoon* he is brave and kind, and SO PERFECT, I have to admit that I did not make an instant connection with him unlike Bea but he gained my love at one point, and wow, he has his baggage, and his problems, and he faces a hard situation because of his new feelings, but never did once he gave up, and he kept fighting for what he wanted until he couldn't.
And now Karian, how I love Karian! He is quite the opposite of chance but he is the perfect book boyfriend, the one everybody wants, he got my love the very first moment I met him, I am absolutely in love with him. He's one of kind, he's smart, caring and so in love with Bea, or at least a part of her. I can't express with words how much this character made an impact on me, how I feel about him. Kari is a go-getter, he's determined on what he wants, on each goal he has, and has not once given up. He's been fighting since he left his realm, and he is not backing down anytime soon. Maybe his ways are not the best, but I can understand him. Of the three main characters, he is the one with the larger baggage. He is the one who was suffered the most. And the things he has been through are horrible. He lost his love once and now he finally found it, he's losing it once again. Kari's story is heartbreaking, his heart and his life were torn apart on a unfortunate day. He's story is one that we get to know detail by detail as we turn the pages and when you think he's finally getting his happy ending. BOOM. An unexpected twist. My heart literally hurts for him.
But that's one of the best things of the story. It's intriguing, and has a lot of mysteries to discover. It keeps you thinking and wondering about what's going to happen next. And when you think you got it, you really don't. It will keep you guessing through all the story but it's entertaing.
Besides, this story has a little thing for each reader out there. It has love, friendship, heartbreak, fantasy, A LOVE TRIANGLE, twists, turns, happiness, sadness and regret. It's a mix of all the possible emotions you can have.
And about the friendship. I love Kitty and Jenny, they are great characters that represent everything that a true friend should be. Oh and let's not forget about Asta and Pia, secondary characters but SO FUNNY, I love them at the instant I met them.
So go get this book please, I'm begging you, go read this story. Meet your next book boyfriend and a new fantasy world you wish you'd live in. It's written in a beautiful way. And It has innovative elements that you probably have never read before! Like A Carpet of Purple Flowers.
I initially wrote a review while I was reading it and put it down. It is such a lackluster book that I will not be revisiting it.
You cannot present me with a "finished" book (the one I own is a second version) with this many typos, this much unclear direction and abundant ,overly graphic sex scenes between characters who know little to nothing about each other.
Here is an example without spoliers; in one night ; ONE SINGLE NIGHT , This chick goes to an evening event, runs away, passes out at home, wakes up at some time. Another guy comes by and she proceeds to have sex with them for an apperently long period of time then fall asleep AGAIN, and wake up at some early hour of the morning?? IN ONE NIGHT. ONE. How unearthly long is that one night?? How does that make any sense?
And that's just an example. There is so many elements that are like this that I just cannot finish this.
The pacing makes no sense, there is little presence between these characters, and I cannot in good mind waste my life reading something that is so half-assed as this.
Hard pass unless you like to be bored while reading sex scenes.
Bea is a bookstore owner in London living a quiet life when she starts meeting people she believes are random. It turns out they've intentionally inserted themselves into her life and are from another realm. Bea has a connection to them she never could've imagined, which complicates her life, brings love, friendship, and forces her to make impossibly difficult decisions about her future. I love this book. The story incorporates our world and the characters from the other world beautifully, making paranormal events seem perfectly natural. Nothing felt forced and the pace of uncovering another realm and its people was done so well that it's easy to lose yourself in the story without struggling to comprehend while being introduced to it. I hope this book is going to turn into a series.
I received A Carpet of Purple Flowers in exchange for an honest review. Oh my goodness! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ms.McCartney is a fantastic story teller. She takes the reader on a journey that has many twists that are not anticipated. Bea's quiet life as the owner of a small book store in London is forever changed when she meets two men from a long forgotten race. Love and new found friendships dominate this story. Bea is exposed to many things she didn't know existed. Learning about this alternate world, she learns that her past life is linked to these beings. I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy romance with a little magic involved. Thank you for allowing me to read this very well written and immensely enjoyable story.
This book is a genre I wouldn't usually look at. The day my uncle passed away, almost a year ago, I went to my local library for solace. I picked up this book, then saw the main character's uncle had just passed away. Thinking I may find some comfort in the story I borrowed it, read it, and loved it. It was an easy to read, and believable story. Now almost a year later, with an anniversary looming, I feel drawn to this book again. I have borrowed it once again from my library as I haven't been able to find it to buy here in Australia. If you like a story that is full of multiple worlds, believable characters, and a little romance; and that seems like it could take place in your world then this book is for you.
( Source: I requested the publisher to read this. This will not affect my reviews.)
This is a debut novel by Tracey-Anne McCartney.
It took me a long time to continuosly read it because at the beginning of the story it was slow paced and the happenings were just too fast for the story. But in the middle up to last page. This story is amazing. What I love about this, is that the symbols and mysteries. There’s so many words are foreign to me about their world.
” The soul enters a body to gain these experiences, to grow and develop, eventually evolving to some higher form.”
Bea is our protagonist here. She owns a bookshop. She’s okay for me but what I don’t like about her was that she only met Chance once and suddenly fall in love. At first, I love Karian for Bea and I don’t like Chance because there’s no connection between Chance and Bea. And as the story goes by, I admit I’m torn between Chance and Karian who’s best for Bea. I just can’t believed that the soul of Alithia was reincarnated to the body of Bea. That’s why they need to protect her. Karian is the past love of Alithia and Chance is the protector of Bea.
” What happens once a soul does return? They make the decisions about their future and eventually, if they wish, return to a material for. The journey, their previous life is recorded, as are the lessons they learned, as too are the lessons they still need to learn. A lot depends upon a karma”
I can’t wait for the book two.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Epic fantasy, coming-of-age, romantic drama and mythology: this book is a finely woven carpet of great fiction.
Bea, owner of a little bookshop, is drawn into the war between two paranormal factions. Kari, a royal on one side, thinks Bea's harbouring the soul of his long-lost love, Alithea, and sets out to re-win her heart. Chance, a warrior for the other, thinks he's protecting Bea, but endangers her through his own actions. As Bea gets pulled in different directions, and starts to uncover histories and recover memories, she realises she alone holds the key to this war...
From the blurb, I expected a kind of 'Twilight for adults'. What I got was intricately-imagined fantasy, suspenseful action, two beautifully interwoven love stories (not the kind of paranormal love triangle I was anticipating), and a lot of well-crafted drama. Brilliant - I want more!
*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
This is the kind of book that makes you glad to have stepped out of your comfort zone for a moment. Although aspects of magical folklore and the like have always intrigued me, I've never been that keen on reading about them in fiction, perhaps because I think it is a genre that is often lazily presented, to its own detriment. Not so with this book, however, which I thoroughly enjoyed on very many levels. The folklore isn't just thrown in there, it is researched and well considered, as well as being presented in a believable manner. So too is the main character, suddenly thrown into this new, etheral world. While saying that there is something for everyone in this book, I don't mean it at all flippantly - the elements of fantasy, love, magic, sex, humour and raw emotion are all expertly intertwined by a very talented writer who really sieze her opportunity to make this genre her own. I look forward to more.
** I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. No spoilers **
I was fortunate enough to beta read the first 3 chapters of this book in it's earliest form. Even at that time, it felt magical. The completed book was near flawless. It will be hard for anyone to believe this is a debut book, the writing really is that good. The story is original and the description beautiful, light, airy, and ethereal. In my humble opinion, the story flowed well from beginning to end. I love it when an author gives a subtle build up of tension between characters, not giving away the plot. That is what this author did with Bea, Karian, and Chance. I loved the characters personalities and the story. I will absolutely read this authors future work.
A world within a world that you never knew existed and one you’ll NEVER forget. ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ ticks all the boxes: fantasy, romance, action and suspense. Creative storytelling tantalizes all the senses transporting the reader to a realm where earthly boundaries do not apply. Exceptional and engaging dialog filled with raw emotions and sly humor brings the characters to life. The story quickly revs up and propels the reader into layers of the otherworldly sprinkled with folklore and magic. The turn of each page delivers unexpected plot twists. You will lose track of time and yourself in Bea’s story which can not end here. Make room on your bookcase, ‘A Carpet of Purple Flowers’ is destined to blossom into a wondrous book series.
A Carpet of Purple Flowers is beautiful in so many ways, the story itself, the wonderful descriptions that really come alive in your imagination, the believable characters and the otherworldly beings the Sindria are a stunning creation. It's a great mixture of reality and fantasy with well researched myth and folklore. Set in modern London, there are visits to the beautiful landscape of Scotland and glimpses of the world that the Sidhe inhabit. The central character, Bea, is a lovely young woman who you can identify with and the twists and turns in the story compel you to read on to find out what will happen next. Can't wait for book 2!
I really wanted to like this novel. I did. But from the insta love, to the really lack luster heroine, to the info dumping, to the weirdly concluded but not concluded ending I just can't. There were too many things that got me from enjoying this book. At one point it felt like a chore, but I don't like to leave books unfinished so I guess that's more of my own problem. I get if this is your thing, but it definitely is not my thing. I'm really interested in the Fey and I love reading books about them, but this was really boring. That and there were moments that were way over dramatic and it was just... Sigh. I don't know I just really didn't like this book.
A book I read to the end to give it a fair chance, but instead left me frustrated.
Ignoring all the typos, the story is lack lustre. The characters are shallow and hollow, with the protagonist barely likeable in my opinion.
The timing seems off and left me confused in several parts, and the dialogue is clunky. A point after ‘A’ and ‘B’ were intimate she says “last night, you called me your weakness”. I reread the WHOLE CHAPTER and can’t find where he called her that?
Has some promise, but as a fan of fantasy I’m gutted it didn’t work.
Also, everyone giving it five stars looks like they got a free copy to review, not a great representation of how good the book is.
'A Carpet of Purple Flowers' is a wonderfully rich and sumptuous debut novel by Tracey-anne McCartney. It is an elaborate folklore fantasy, which pulled me in right from the start. The central story involves a complicated love triangle between Bea, Chance, Alithia and Karian (yep, there are four in this triangle). I cared about all of the characters and enjoyed the world McCartney created. There is an especially salient moment where an illusion is shattered, leaving a deliciously gothic image. The ending left me wanting more, and I hope there will be more to come. Recommended.
This is a creative romance/paranormal/fantasy that takes place in London at a bookstore. I enjoyed the characters and the interaction between the different races . Bea is a bookseller who can see both the sects of a ancient race. They are usually invisible to humans and the fact that she can see both has them all confounded and vying for her attention. She falls in love with both leaders and is about to prompt a war between the two factions. She must explore her past to discover the secrets that might change the future.
I was sent this book from the lovely Author to read and do an honest review on.. can i just say how LOVELY Tracey-Anne is! I have been talking with her on Twitter and she's been sweet and friendly! This book was sooooo GOOD! Mystical..magical..spiritual.. romantic ... liked the way magic and the real world mixed together. the characters were great esp. Bea the main girl. Lots of Twists and turns and emotional . This is book 1 in the series and i am soooo excited to read book 2! The ending was a real twist which i loved! This book is really great :)
I liked the name of this one, but unfortunately, the book didn't resonate nearly as well. I didn't connect well with, or like, the characters, and the storyline didn't move me either. I'm sorry that this one wasn't one I enjoyed, as I thought it sounded good. I'm sure many readers will love the characters and storyline, so I wouldn't caution anyone against trying it. It just wasn't to my personal reading taste.
As a romance editor / addict / obsessive, I often feel that even the best new novels are re-hashes of books I've read before. Which is why I was so pleased to discover this little gem - a truly unique premise that merges the spiritual with the paranormal in a very interesting way. The characters are gorgeous, and the love triangle is full of twists and surprises. I highly recommend.
a good book the story just came alive within the pages and it was a 4 way love triangle a great book that paints a beatfuil story I loved getting to know the charcters in the story I would so this is a book for anyone who likes other worldly creatrues meaning humans and non humans love and a touch of magic
I'm following Tracyanne MCCartney on Twitter and got curious! Bought is as an E book and read it within a couple of days! It's an amazing book, never boring for even a minut! Covers it all, romance, action, adventure.. Love the characters! Looking forward to the next book!
I received a copy of A Carpet of Purple Flowers for review. It took me a moment to get into it, but then it flew. McCartney gives us a tale of faeries, sidhe, witches and more. Bea, a human, is a divorcee who loves comfort and consistency after a tumultuous marriage. Nothing is better than sweet, hot tea and a book. We can relate to her. All this changes when she accepts a party invitation and during the evening sees those that should not be seen. Enter characters from another realm to enquire why she has been able to see and talk to those not of this world. Bea’s quiet time of self-healing is blasted by a war between the seelie and unseelie, a sort of ethereal Hatfields and McCoys. Bea finds there is more within her than she ever knew and winds up passionately embroiled in relationships with two men on opposing sides of the sidhe war. Parts of this novel are well written and gripping, especially the fighting scenes, but the romantic scenes are tinged with purple patches. It is graphic, so there’s a caution.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.